For the first time in his ADRL career, Pat Musi wrapped up a day of qualifying on top of the Pro Modified list. The Carteret, NJ-based doorslammer legend ran his nitrous-boosted, electronic-fuel-injected 2010 Stratus to a 3.861-seconds pass at a potentially record-setting 196.22 mph to lead the Gateway Drags IV after Friday’s three scheduled qualifying sessions.
“We’ve been struggling to get the car to run good down low, but it’s really running strong on the top end,” Musi said. Mike Castellana actually went a little faster at 197.31 in the 2012 ADRL season opener in Baytown, TX, but Rickie Smith holds the official class record of 195.68 mph.
Helping in Musi’s pit is a veritable who’s who of doorslammer racing, including Marc Dantoni, Joe Dunne and Kelly Bluebaugh. “Rickie (Smith) helps a lot, too, but he’s racing at the NHRA race in Englishtown this weekend or he’d be here, too,” Musi added.
Musi said he thought if track and atmospheric conditions remain as good as they were on Friday he may be able to improve his time in Saturday’s lone and final qualifying opportunity.
“We’re sneaking up on it, just trying to be careful. It’s got a lot of power,” he said.
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